Review: Arnheim - Machine & Horns [ANMA Records]
Machine & Horns is a wonderful dive into 'mechanical repetitiveness' and improvised jazz. All too often electronic sounds can loose that human feel and lack inherent soul. Arnheim seeks to address this by finding the balance between the two in his 'Machine and Horns' EP on London based ANMA's records.
And boy does he find that sweet spot in the middle. 'Circulate Home' opens up proceedings with raw chords, which are simultaneously infused with sadness and human emotion whilst retaining that mechanical feel. Following the same methodical pattern at first, the chords become more sporadic and spread as the track develops, almost as if a machine were breaking down and malfunctioning, a reminder perhaps that the two are intrinsically linked - machinery cannot exist without humanity (not yet anyway) and indeed in this modern age humanity cannot exist without machinery. What is extremely human is the absolutely gorgeous laid back saxophone melodies of Johannes Sahmland-Bowling which guide the track towards it's climax.
My personal favourite 'Your Effect on the Day' see's Johannes' horn effortlessly glide over the top of a repetitive hip hop-esque beat, again designed to give the track that mechanical edge. This is laid back, cool UK jazz at it's finest.
Flipping over, 'Circulate Home' gets the remix treatment from Italian XL Regular who gives it a more of broken beat, dance floor feel. As the the beats travel more and more away from the grid it's almost disorientating but after it resolves it paradoxically feels completely right. Finishing up is 'Blues Machine' which focuses more on a straight jazz feel, but retains that mechanical component which unifies the EP.
'Machine & Horns' is a reminder to not loose sight of the soul of music, to cherish and platform that human element and to learn to work with the mechanical in a way that doesn't that doesn't compromise the emotional. It is available to buy from their Bandcamp HERE.